Day 69: Dylan On Ice

WP_20151121_08_30_47_ProAfter yesterday, when Dylan went out without a coat, I woke this morning to a covering of snow.  My first thought, when I looked out of the window, was of Dylan hugging his hoodie sleeves over his hands in one of the photos from yesterday’s trip. My second thought, as a gritter truck thrummed by outside my house, orange lights flashing, was of the roads.

Dylan already has ice on his schedule today; following last year’s successful trip to Disney On Ice we have two tickets for tonight’s show. How would I manage this, I wondered, on snowy roads? The rural setting of Dylan’s home might be enchanting in the summer but, it suddenly occurred to me, it could be a challenge in winter. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought this through before. The road from the motorway exit to the care home is twisty and unlit. It dips and climbs to places I know the frost and ice will cling. It’s the sort of journey on which you lose your mobile phone reception. Not the most confident driver at the best of times, these conditions are my nightmare.

Why have I never envisaged the residential setting in bad weather I wonder? I will surely not be able to maintain my mid-week visit to Dylan on winter evenings. And what about the days of sudden snow – if it falls on a Saturday when I am due to collect Dylan, say? Or during the weekend, while Dylan is here with me, so that we can’t make the return journey? The home is not on a public transport route; if I don’t feel confident enough to drive, I will have to let Dylan down. The idea of my not arriving when Dylan is expecting me ranks as high on my discomfort scale as him being without a coat in winter (higher perhaps). If I replay the memory reels from all my Februaries I could consider the situation bleak: if snow falls badly, I might not see Dylan for weeks.

I will have to ask the manager what the roads around the care home are like in winter and talk to other parents about how they manage this. But then fresh worries form (worries I know are not strictly mine). How do staff get to the care home in winter? What happens if they can’t get through and the home is short-staffed? And what about the risk to Dylan of trips on icy roads? Such thoughts are not helpful I know; I have to hand over responsibility for these decisions. On the positive side, I tell myself, Dylan will have a great time this winter if care home staff have more confidence than I do in the snow; Dylan loves to skate and sledge and  will probably be in his element (providing he is properly dressed).

 

6 thoughts on “Day 69: Dylan On Ice

  1. Things happen. Vast deserts of weeks of dry roads with no problems happen. Earthquakes rarely happen. Tornadoes are starting to be reported more often in England, but haven’t killed anybody yet. Spiders bite people, but not often, and they don’t WANT to bite human beings, and UK spider bites don’t kill people unless they have an obscure reaction not listed in medical textbooks. Major floods happen, but not often. Freezing conditions happen, with black ice. I remember skidding scarily while driving on three separate occasions, but since that’s over half a century of driving, and I do live in Scotland, it’s not bad. Mostly there is no ice. The white stuff known as ‘snow’ happens sometimes. Usually it isn’t terrible and doesn’t close the roads, though it could be heavy and it could close roads. If that happens, it will be an exception, and Dylan is in a grown-up place now and will learn, with support, to cope with exceptions.

    Nobody, of course, will be helping you. Your mother would tell you to cross your bridges when you come to them. This is no help when the bridge is closed through snow, but still, she has a point.

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    • Nell that is what I needed to hear thank you. Yes, my mum would have said that. I am a rubbish foul-weather driver and I get anxious about it that’s all, but maybe I’ll get more confidence through doing it more often. I’ll be bridge-crosser, x

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    • Who knows what will be my downfall. When I was younger I escaped with my life a couple of times; it was fearlessness, then, that had put me in danger, not fearfulness. I think I just know my limits as a driver, that’s all 🙂 Don’t forget this is England; a bit of snow and ice and plenty of competent drivers turn incompetent (not used to the conditions, no snow tyres etc – things that people in US take for granted).

      The other more serious issue I am trying to raise, however, is that some of us must take decisions on behalf of those who are not able to themselves (for mental capacity reasons). Dylan cannot make a judgement about road safety in winter; someone else must do this for him. As part of the process of supporting Dylan into residential care I have to come to terms with, and accept, that someone else will need to make those decisions for him in future. I don’t think my rationalising of this process will kill me…

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  2. Get some snow chains – go out and make a snowman – a big one – should be 6ft tall made from 2 large balls of snow – scarf – carrot – billiard balls for eyes – beanie !

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